January 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Blitzer: What would you ask the Democrats in South Carolina?

 Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate.

Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - I am going to be hosting a Democratic presidential debate on Monday, January 21, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The CNN debate will be co-sponsored with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Suzanne Malveaux and Joe Johns will be joining me in the questioning. All of us are really looking forward to this debate which coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States.

It comes just before the Democratic primary in South Carolina on Saturday, January 26. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all have respective strengths and weaknesses in that state. Hopefully, we will be able to learn more about these three candidates during that forum, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. The two earlier Democratic debates I moderated – in New Hampshire in early June and in Nevada in November – included a lot more candidates. Several of them, as you know, have dropped out. This one should be more manageable.

There are so many questions all of us have about the candidates. I have my ideas, and am excited, but l really want to hear from you - I would love your input. Let me know what you would ask these Democratic candidates if you had the chance. This race for the White House is at a pivotal point for the Democrats and the Republicans. And the stakes for the nation are very high. Thanks in advance.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: South Carolina • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (2,911 Responses)
  1. RUBEN


    January 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Nick

    None of you has committed to getting all of the troops out of Iraq in your first term. Since that means we'll be there for a while still, please describe your image of Baghdad in 2012.

    How many hours of electricity per day?
    How many hour of water per day?
    How many U.S. troops per capita?
    How many Peace Corps volunteers per capita?
    How long are the lines for gasoline?

    January 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I would want Ms. Clinton to explain why she wants change? She continuously states that she has the "experience to bring change" but if she has been in the loop for 35 years – isn't she part of the problem that needs to be changed. If she couldn't do it in 35 years, what makes her think she can do it in four?

    January 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. limabeans

    Hillary voted for an amendment to cap credit card interst rates at 30% max. Obama voted against this. Can you ask Hillary and Obama to explain their respective votes on this issue?

    January 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Dave

    How can we make the Presidential Race more equitable and not have the nominations go to whomever raises the most money through special interests and corporations? The people just can’t compete.

    January 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Ellen Aimone

    I would like them to address a topic that has not yet been discussed. This is the issue of the current Medicare D system that President Bush developed. I work with seniors as a social worker and have had to deal with this catastrophic plan for the last 2 years. It has been a nightmare to work with a system that is confusing, going up in cost every year and does not meet my patient's needs. I think a prescription program is a good idea and would like to know how the candidates are going to address the needed changes in the current Bush plan. Thank you.

    January 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Troy

    I'd like to hear from all three candidates on what measure they will take to bridge the large income disparity between the "Haves" and the "Have Nots" that has continued to grow during the last two Republican administrations? Will they lower the tax burden on the middle and lower class, or will they continue to allow the rich to get richer?

    Also I'd like to know how they plan to reach those people who have been disenfranchised and disillusioned by Hurrican Katrina and The Irag war back into the politcal process? What do you say to them to make them believe that their government won't fail them again under your administration?

    January 11, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. waibi alex

    Hillary and Obama to react to Karl Rove's open letter to Obama, specifically about Hillary's tricks of playing Victim and Having a coronation complex. I.e the legitimate heiress to the party nomination complex

    Ask Hillary why despite calling Obama Naive they gone ahead and STOLEN his change Idea?

    Ask Hillary why after working for Change for 35 YEARS starting when Obama was 11 YEARS that change is yet to come.

    January 11, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. RUBEN


    January 11, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Anthony

    If a relatively inexperienced, yet charismatic and inspiring, candidate (i.e. Obama) were to win the nomination and subsequently the election, what kind of help and support would the more experienced candidates (i.e. Hillary) give him during his presidency? How would they help him during the general election process against the other candidates (Republican, maybe Bloomberg, etc.)

    Her experience definitely remains of great value to the country even if it were not to be utilized with her as the president.

    January 11, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Melissa

    I would ask the candidates what about low-income and the working poor in this country? I can appreciate the fact that they want to help out the middle-class but in my opinion there are a lot more low-income and working poor who struggle everyday to make ends meet. I don't mean to sound rude but I don't really feel sorry for someone who makes $40,000-$60,000 a year and can't make ends meet. I made a little under $17,000 last year and I don't hear anyone wanting to help me or others in my position out. It is hard in todays time but maybe there was some over-extending that was done.

    Also, in regards to the uninsured, I work part-time for a big company and don't have medical insurance. I didn't find out until I was there for a month before they told me that my position would not be a full-time position. I can appreciate that the candidates want to do something for the uninsured. My question is what about the ones who want insurance but still won't be able to afford it because all their money goes to paying the bills and there is nothing left?

    January 11, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Kathy Sammons--Atlanta, GA

    FDR created a great framework for America to recover from economic hardship. Specifically, he put Americans back to work by investing in infrastructure, education and technology. Clinton's stimulus package seems to follow this same structure with a focus on investing in new technology. Senator Obama: do you think that FDR paradigm is the correct one to follow, or do you have an alternate plan?

    Both of you serve as shining examples of how education is the path to the American dream. You are both strong supporters of our military and their families. We have a lot of soldiers returning from battle that the Bush administration has ignored. What do you plan to do to help them–for instance, would you support a GI Bill similar to the one that helped our WWII vets? What about homeless veterans?

    January 11, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Charles Murphy

    I would like to know what Hillary's plans are for public transportation development and what plans she has that have earned her Amalgamated Transit Union's endorsement. They represent 180,000 bus drivers.

    I think that's a great question. I haven't heard a presidential candidate talk about public transportation in this country and how behind it really is. Amalgamated Transit Union's endorsement of Hillary impresses me and I'd like to know her plans.

    January 11, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Darryl Brown

    When Bill Clinton ran for his second term in office he promised
    American Indians he would give a pardon to Leonard Peltier.
    At the end of his second term, he backed away from his promise.
    This is public knowledge because some big California money
    backers starting supporting Barrack Obama because they also
    wanted Bill Clinto to pardon Lenord Peltier.

    My question is. If Hillary gets elected will she pardon or give
    Executive clemency to Leonard Peltier who is being held
    as a "political prisoner" for about 30 years now.

    The case is well documented. And there are over two
    million American Indians who despise her husband for
    lying to us.

    January 11, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Gabriel Miller

    Mr. Blitzer–

    I'd like to know a couple things:

    1. Mrs. Clinton seemed to change the stance of her campaign from "I have more experience and am ready to to lead" to "I am the better qualified agent of change" when she and her staff recognized Mr. Obama's message was working in the polls. I am curious as to methods of execution.

    Mr. Obama's change seems to be about a different type of politicking, under the banner of a more unified American voting base - one that would attempt to heal the division Americans feel amongst each other, and between them and their government. As such a historically divisive figure, does Mrs. Clinton think she will be able to provide this same kind of unifying leadership (reaching out to Republicans, etc), and if so, how?

    2. What are Mr. Obama's plans to implement his philosophies as well? I understand with a multi-party electorate behind you, and the support of the American people, pressure will be put on those that are used to dealing in strictly inflammatory partisan terms, but what will Mr. Obama's first steps be towards healing and unifying?

    Thank you.

    January 11, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. RUBEN


    January 11, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Tom C.

    How about a question about fixing Social Security? I don't think any democrat or republican has been asked about this subject in any of the numerous debates.

    January 11, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Antony

    Some of you are soooo out of touch, Hillary Clinton has done absolutely nothing for African Americans, I am African American, a disabled veteran who served honorably and I don't know one person who Hillary or Bill have done anything for in my community. So please stop calling this man the first black president. Ask yourself a honest question, "What has Hillary done for me?" Don't just let here tell you she's done something for you.

    January 11, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. RUBEN


    January 11, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Melissa

    oh yes, definitely public transportation! It's so important for conserving energy and changing our cities and the way we guzzle gasoline.

    That would be great. I would love to know Hillary's plans.

    January 11, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Glazed, Detroit metro

    Mr Blitzer
    Not sure what to ask candidates But have one question for you (Reporters).

    When/Who will explain what is actually ging to change? Your friend on the evening business program – Mr Lou Dodds is the only one I have heard of even attempting to address this issue. His comments" I will puke if I hear change again".

    Is Mr Obama going to change the where the sun rises? Is he going to change how 70~80% of people live their daily lives to satify the 20~30%? What are these changes? You/All reporters need to bring this out. The burden on you folk is not insignificant after the failure of the reports in the Iraq issue. All reports let this country down by not dowing their jobs. Are we in for a PART II ?

    January 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Dan, NJ

    Wolff, like one of the posters above, I have significant student loans outstanding. I would like the candidates to answer yes or no: will you make sure all interest on student loans is tax deductible?

    January 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Dave Corbin

    Ask each candidate what makes them the best person to lead this nation.

    January 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Ruth

    How would you use the federal government to uphold and strengthen the integrity of science education in our public schools, specifically in the topics of evolution and climate change?

    January 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. felice, Fredericksburg, VA

    First, I am an African American Female who is Registered as Independent-

    Questions for all: Candidates spend alot of time posturing and puffing hot air about how tough they will be against Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan & elsewhere, I need to know what the next President will do regarding the conflicts here at home i.e Racism and Profiling, the Unfair Judicial system that disporportionately locks up minorities and the war against our children-( more and more crimes against children?

    Repubs. are all falling over themselves to see who can round up "12 million" Un-documented indivduals to "throw" them out of the country; even children born in US who are citizens but their parents are not. (this is stupid and unrealistic) What is your specific comprehensive vision, plan and proposal on immigration and border control?Please no pie in the sky answers; Just reality please

    Why have John Edwards and his wife seem to have gotten mean-spirited this time around? I used to admire them but recently I have found them to be difficult to watch and listen to. John Edwards really turned me off and I saw him in a new light based on his comments about Sen. Clinton when she showed HUMAN emotions. That made me very angry and he lost consideration at that very moment.

    Why is Experience a dirty word now? You need experience AND vision to be a great leader and get to the next level.

    Why are assertive, smart and confident women viewed as Icy, not likeable simply because they have goals too? Why is a woman weak if she shows emotion and a man is viewed as sensitive if he shows emotion? Is there a Double-standard of conduct towards women who are just as capable as a man in this Good Ol' Boy network? We've had men in charge who have nearly DESTROYED this country here at home and abroad. What is the vision and plan of the next president to make sure that their is equality and fair treatment towards women and minorities?

    It is shameful that there are so many homeless people in the US and more specifically former Servicemen and women. What will you do as President to assure our service men and women that they will not be tossed away like yesterday's trash after they have served this country?

    January 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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